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Millennials in HR Leadership: Hear From A Member of The Next Generation

Bennett:

good morning good afternoon everyone hope everybody is doing well on this Wednesday our third episode of HR leadership also #WednesdayWisdom this is Bennett Sung I am the head of brand marketing here at AllyO and I’m excited to have our guests our guest Matt Mackin corporate director of HR and they’re excited about listening to his story of being a millennial entering into a leadership position I think it’s going to be a great conversation and obviously a lot of folks have agreed to that because there’s one of our highest registration today but before I get started I want to address a little bit of housekeeping first of all else just to have everybody know that we are recording this session however if you when you look at yourGoToWebinar panel you will see a question-and-answer section for which you will be able to answer and ask questions um through at any time and we’ll begin to address those most likely at the end of the 30-minute mark again everybody will be on mute but to again engage with you can use the question and answer panel so let’s go ahead and just start get started just to college do the 30-second commercial just for everyone’s frame of reference AllyO is a leading technology provider delivering a i4m to n HR management so specifically when we look at HR management we think we look at it from two perspectives one from those folks that you’re engaging in to come into the organization so from really thehighs you hired and then we have tools to support the ongoing engagement of employees from higher the two goodbye so these are some of the many modules that AllyO is currently supporting out there in the marketplace let’s go get started again today’swebinar episode 3 of HR leadership Millennials and HR leadership hearing from a member of the next generation well before we get started let me go ahead I would love to hear from you what’s your quick little poll to hear about your opinions around what you’re looking to improve in recruiting this year so we’re going to launch a poll and let’s go ahead and see everyone should be able to use star to vote Poland progress yep still and then one the majority of and folks have engaged we will see what the left the outcomes are okay so we have the majority of everyone who’s engaged participating in the polls let’s go ahead and close the poll and share the results and doesn’t love to get opinions I think I see some consistency here from previous on polls that we brought in specifically on this webinar series but I’d love to hear some reaction from Jeanne Wow I am just amazed that retention is at the top of the chart again and in a big way you know years ago companies were very focused on cost per hire as we can see from the poll results that’s not even registering it’s all about retention and time to hire and clearly that’s what gives companies their competitive advantage great so let’s go ahead and get us the get the conversation started so let’s close the poll here and get back to my screen so let’s you again introduce you to our presenters today we have Jeanne Achille from the Devon group she is going to be the moderator Jeanne you want to do a quick introduction and then hand it off to Matt 

Jeanne:

You know I’m given the date which is September 25th of course I am up to my eyeballs in next week’s HR technology conference for which I am one of the chairs and very excited to be joining AllyO today on this webinar and I’m especially excited to talk to Matt We’ve had a chance to talk once the floor and he’s aside from being a great guy he’s super interesting so I think our attendees on today’s webinar are really going to enjoy meeting him soMatt let me turn the floor over to you to say a little bit about your background

Matt:

Yeah thanks for thanks for having me on the call today pretty excited to be here you know one of the things we talked about before was a little bit background in HR how I got started atthis you know I started my career inretail I my going to my junior year of college I opened up a bowling Pro Shopand that kind of led me down the path of a retail environment coming out of college I worked for Target major retailer for a number of years as a system store manager and great experience got to work with a lot of interesting people got to learn some of the things about leadership and how to lead teams how to engage people and it was just a phenomenal experience and towards the end of my career with Target tI I had my second child and it was time for a change in my life and at that point on LinkedIn I had six connections and I got a random LinkedIn message from a recruiter and they said they had a great opportunity for me they were really impressed with my profile which by the way for anyone doing recruiting profile at the time didn’t have a profile picture and it didn’t have any information on it so I definitely thought that this was somewhat of a scam that they were sending this to me because I didn’t have a good profile butI took the call nonetheless had a really great conversation with the recruiter they told me all these great things about an extra and I hadn’t really read the LinkedIn message she had sent me actually and so at the end of the conversation I said there is a hey what’s what’s the job what’s the job title actually for this and it’s the HR manager and I said oh I’m so sorry I’m Not an HR person I am a logistics personI’m a supply chain person I you know I Can motivate teams I can you know myteam unloads a truck every morning at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning you know I don’t think I’m really an HR person she said well you know I think you’re what we’re looking for and I went through the interview process with an annex chair and a lot of really great people in the interview process and got pretty excited about a potential career in HR and and annexed her decided to hire me and it was a good fit for me and started off with an extra as an HRmanager at our distribution that are one of our major distribution centers and then more recently moved into our corporate HR director role and here we are today 

Jeanne:

what an amazing journey you know I think that certainly isn’t necessarily an intuitive career pathinto HR and I think maybe a lot of people still think of career pathing into HR is a very traditional you know you study HR on the graduate school level and and you know you internand then you make your way in as an HRgeneralist or what have you mentioned having worked at Target and the retail environment in particular on the store management level that’s just really challenging I mean it’s really challenging to to recruit people to manage part-time workers and seasonal workers how did you recruit the right talent plus retain those people 

Matt:

yeah that’s a tough piece that’s one of the toughest pieces about managing these stores is if you do a really good job with retaining people in retail you can generally have a turnover rate of like45 to 50 percent which is so very high obviously so I’m not them you’re saying that that’s a good number but you know so you can anticipate that every year you’re going to probably turn over half your team it’s a at the time it was very much seen as an entry-level job a part-time jobin you know you’re constantly recruiting you know we at our stores we did everything from partner with thelocal Papa John’s to stick now hiring signs on boxes they deliver pizzas to doing on-the-spot interviews with people when they applied by the store you know stuffing every bag we have you know and every time anyone bought anything with the now hiring flyers and then you’re constantly interviewing when we go into peak seasons I would probably interview60 to 80 people over the course of two weeks to to try to hire probably 30 or40 people and you know you get you just end up getting a lot of experience with interviewing folks and and I think they know from a retail environment standpoint is definitely challenging to do that but you got to find ways to engage the team gotta find ways to get people excited about their job and it’s the same as anyone even if it’s more what might be viewed as a more professional career track or outside of retail the same way you want to get those folks bought into the broader vision of the organization you want to do the same thing to with your hourly associates and the people on the ground doing a lot of work in the better of a job you can do with those kinds of things and taking the time to teach and train them even if they’re only going tobe with you maybe six to twelve months still provides enormous value for the business so that’s challenging but you gotta you gotta find ways to do that kind of thing and there’s a kind of a segue into you know I think that kind of helped my career so initially when I put this interview with an extra I thought you knew cheese there’s no way what I’ve Done Translate to HR at all but when I look back at my career at Target it was a lot of learning a lot of hands-on learning about HR from recruiting to interviewing people to employee relations and definitely around hiring and retention a lot of interviewing great experience 

Jeanne:

you know you you actually talk about a Segway you you really ledme to my next question which is you know I’m sitting here going okay you have amazing people management skills and have been very successful at recruiting and retaining but there are other areas of HR some of which are very compliance ridden functions you know like comp and benefits and how did you how did you come up to speed on those functional areas in order to leave them it’s uh you know I’m still learning it today there’s it’s it’s one of those things where I don’t think I will ever know everything there is to know about it I don’t think I’ll ever be the best at it but it’s definitely something where I ask a lot of questions one of the things that my boss did for me in the interview process which at the time just like a lot of interviews I really like eight different people before It Started with an extra but the folks I Interviewed work where everyone from or from the HR admin who’s going to report to me to the person who was in the current position and moving on to our CHR o to our employment attorney our leader of HR operations I mean all sorts of folks in the organization and they became invaluable for me when I started with an extra I was able ask questions they were able to give guidance I was able to rely on them for their judgment and discretion until I knew enough to establish my own judgment of discretionI got a membership ship with Sherm Mean Sure had some great resources to read through and I read everything I could possibly read every single time a question came up that I didn’t know the answer to I dug and deep as I could possibly dig on it and to learn it and that sometimes that meant reading recent court cases because as we all know you know we got these laws that get passed very late to HR type work and then goes through the court system and that law transforms and changes over time so it’s it’s something that I think I’ll Constantly have to do but there was also you know there were things that Iwas able to add value with right away sowith recruiting and interviewing and running warehouses was very transferable to what I had done at Target so I was able to kind of get a footing with the leadership team and provide value in some other ways while I learned the other more I would say historical HRcomponentsand I’m still learning today and I think I’ll always take that mindset with you that I think there’s always going to be someone who knows more than me orexplore up-to-date with these on someoneis always researching and trying to just constantly learn and I think that’s what’s helped me get up to speed with you know with everything that I know to this day around HER and I’ll continue to be a lifelong learner of HR 

Jeanne:

you know and I love that gave a shout out to SHARM because I think that the content at Cherbourgif people aren’t spending time there they should and you know a membership a yearly membership is super reasonable and tremendous value in expert content it can really really help you you know to resolve a problem or maybe seta new path you know for a positive trajectory and the organization I’m Thinking about some of the job it gotjobs that you were talking about like the people you interviewed within your organization and and I think you’re very unique requirements as you communicate with your workforce so for example 

Matt:

you know it’s easy to send an email to the guys in the finance department how do you handle communications to a warehouse worker we have another question these are these are the challenges of buying you know running a business these days it’s not these aren’t challenges unique to an external user challenges that we find in manufacturing business is really anyone who has a warehouse and distribution side and that has a general labor and the reality is is not I read email the ones who have email maybe they’re not checking every day my myfinance group my IP group are obviously very much tied to it but then when you get out into our warehouses you just a large number of warehouses a big footprint across the US and internationally and and it’s really important with how you look at cascading information through the organization and you know it’s not you can’t just hitSend on an email so it’s it is also not good enough to just go and post a flyer at a facility but but you have to look at from all the different approaches so yeah we we do need to set the email yeahwe do need to post the flyer but then we’ve got to get our leaders in our managers who are on site and these facilities to go out and talk to their team so as an HR department and as an HRperson it’s my job to educate all of the leaders that I have and that I support around the different priorities in the organization that have a people lens to them and make sure that they’re educated enough on the topic to present that information to their team and then as anHR partner I need to make sure that I’m Available and that people know that they can reach out to me with any questions from body you know my hourly warehouse associate in Carrollton Texas to you know a finance director work out of migrant use facility and you know those are some of the challenges that you have as an HR partner and as an HR person but you know the from a strategic standpoint it’s all about finding ways to cascade that information there’s always going to be somebody out out in the field at facility who’s a good communicator and you gotta got to engage with them and give them the right material and make sure they understand it is the force of it they do do a really great job with communicating that kind of stuff and the team works with them on a day to day basis so when you get someone out there like that because it’s what they’re cheating but talk to them about you knowHR benefits you know when we do open enrollment every year those are those are the people that you need to be able to educate and it’s an I think we do a pretty good job with it always areas for improvement but it’s it’s one of the definitely one of the biggest challenges with running an organization that size

Jeanne:

so I have a lot more questions and I want to be cognizant that we don’t have an endless amount of time and I also want to remind everyone on the webinar today that you are able to enter your questions in the question panel that you’ll see on your screen and we will be as time permits we will be answering as many questions as possible at the end of our webinarMatt in terms of your own leadership values what are you most proud of and what would you change if you you know as you reflect what would you have changed 

Matt:

oh so you know I think there’s a lot that I would like to change but at some point I have to look at it and say you know the path that I took is what educated me well you know there’s lots of mistakes throughout my career where I’d say geez I wish I didn’t make that mistake but at the same point those mistakes have led me to the experience Ihad today those mistakes have built some of my judgment and discretion I have so you know I don’t think when I look back at things I wouldn’t change a single thing I would you know hope that I were to do things again you know in hindsight I would do some of those things better but in terms of the past I definitely wouldn’t change the pastI think they’ve led me to the leadership values that I have today when I look aa leader I look for somebody who has genuine engagement with their teams somebody who is aligned and wants to drive organizational missions and values and somebody who knows how to get stuff done because at the end of the day you know that’s what the best leaders do the best leaders deliver results through their teams and you’ve got to find ways to do that that’s something that I Constantly work at as an HR person you know IF there’s a lot that you have to do from influencing without authority and knowing which levers to pull and you know you got to gain the respect to people and show that you can generate results and show that you can add value so I look for leaders that can do that and I try to hold myself to that same standard 

Jeanne:

okay I’m gonna take you off the hot seat for a moment and stop asking kind of almost personal questions I Appreciate you indulging me talk to us abit about technology you know obviously there have been a lot of advances in recent years, what do you think the gamechangers are no I’ll talk about it generally

Matt:

so obviously I like working with AllyO you know there’s obviously benefit that way but Ithink what you know we look at this more broadly I think there’s a couple of really exciting things going on in the technology space right now and this isn’t just you know if you know this isn’t only for HR a lot of these things are across all different types of organizations and business units and functions but I would say the first one is the ease of automation so we are at a point where technology is becoming more configurable so that people like me who do not have a strong technology background can go in and configure things whether that’s through like something like a Microsoft flow or other products and you can add a lot of automation into your workflow and companies out there like like AllyO you know are able to automate a lot of those things for you so those you know I’m Pretty excited about that and we’re those that automation and you know how that’s going to drive the business forward I’m also pretty excited about some of the other technology that’s out there that we’ve seen in finance specifically like when we start looking at blockchain and other things I’m Excited to see how that rolls into HR I Mean we all have had challenges I’m sure with background checks and dealing and blockchain presents an interesting concept with a shared ledger for for you know especially like something like background checks for payroll processing where you have a trusted source and you know that source of truth and there’s secure access to it so I’m really excited where that goes I think there’s someone who’s probably a lot smarter than me out there who’s going to figure out some really cool use cases for it and I’m really interested to see where that that’s for the head in the future

Jeanne:

you know I share your interest in the blockchain advances because I think Ican see the benefits on the employer side readily they also think there are a number of benefits on the employee side in terms of the portability of kind of almost carrying your records with you wherever you go so I think that’s fascinating you know I I did say I would stop asking you personal questions butI’m gonna go back to asking you personal questions you know you and I had a chata couple weeks ago and you told me that previously you would owned a bowling ProShop which sounds very much like you know you had dipped your toes in the entrepreneurial waters and aside from the fact that the Big Lebowski is one of my favorite movies ever you know what took you there like why did you decide to you know set up your own shop and tell us about that experience jeez I I think right place right time type of thing 

Matt:

I worked in my first job was at a bowling alley and after working at bowling alley for a couple years I started working inside the bowling Pro Shop the person the proprietor of the Pro Shop rented space there knew me from there so he did a hiring me and I worked there for twelve months I think before heading out to college I learned a lot up bowling it’s drilling bowling balls selling bowling balls kind of running a pro shop and I stayed in touch with him and Iworked for him over the summers when Icome back and and then he ended up giving me a call when I was going into my he’s I think he’s ready to be on my junior year of college he reached out to me and said hey there’s a bowling alley nearby that has a Pro Shop to be interested it’s do anything with then I Said are you trying to open up a spot where I get me to run that for you know I’m not not going to open up a spot there why don’t you do it and I hadn’t thought about that that’s an interesting idea and I took a call with the centerman at the center manager at that local bowling alley and when really well had very favorable read terms and other financial terms with it so I cashed out my certificate of deposit I think I had saved up since I started working at night cash cash that out and had some cash and bought inventory and opened up open up a Pro Shop and it was incredibly fun and it was you know I think just amazing experience I did everything in there frying a business partner too dida lot of work so I don’t take anything away from him because he definitely share with me but you know doing everything from hiring employees to violent tax returns to purchasing inventory to managing bank accounts to try to generate sales and business and look at new avenues and it was just an amazing learning experience there were so manymistakesI paid along the way but there were alot of things that went really well with it too that I care today and I think that that mindset that came from that business or the entrepreneurial mindset of looking at things and trying to understand how the business works is really what gives me success in HR because I try to come at things from maybe not as an HR person but as a business partner who happens to work in HR and you know try to help the people Iwork with trying to solve some of their business problems and I do rely on so the experience that I had and uh then running my own business for a number of years 

Jeanne:

very cool well there is one question that we ask all of our visitors on the AllyO webinar and that is if you could have lunch with three people dead or alive who would they be

Matt:

Oh that’s fun number one person and he’s not with us anymore unfortunately wouldbe Anthony Bourdain I think that’s somebody who could bring anyone together and have just amazing perspective Ithink Joe Rogan would be a number two for me again a really funny guy great stand-up comedian and then a guy listened his podcast every single day ami driving to work if so definitely like to talk to him and I would say for the third person I put politics aside and I would want to talk to AndersonCooper and I think having a lunch withAnderson would be fun all the different experiences he’s had I mean jeez I think he’s the face of CNN right now and you know whenever there’s a disaster or anything he’s the first person out onsite and you know I think just some of the experiences of the people he’s met his life would be really fun to hear stories

Jeanne:

absolutely what a great selection I think we all learned so much forBourdain as he traveled to two parts of the world that many of us have never gotten to and I must say Anderson Cooper Looks a little tired I did see him on television last night I think I think you probably would like to have a little bit of a vacation well thank you so much Matt I have enjoyed our conversation we’ve learned a lot from you I’d like to turn the floor back over to Bennett to see if we have any questions from our audience that he’d like to make sure we address 

Bennett:

thank you so much Matt and Jeanne Yes there’s actually course a couple questions that came in one of the questions that just came in was how do you call incorporate AllyO into your ATS the little product specific but they were just curious if you’re able to ask that’d be great

Matt:

yeah so you’re looking at how to how do I incorporate AllyO into your ATS so I did it very much from a I Think there’s there’s two places to look at it so you can look at it from a pre ATS and post ITS so pre ATS integration would be more like chatting with someone to get them to apply and taking them through a text-based interview process I looked at it as my goal was to automate the administrative functions of recruiting so snack clubs so I oughta mated it from the post ATS so basically when someone applies AllOys grabbing people from our ATS and asking them questions and screening them and then ultimately scheduling them so so a variety of those administrative function that’s also where it’s not like we’d see a little bit faster of the ROI and it made a lot more stuff for us at least it made sense to automate those types of functions 

Bennett:

yep and one other question that did come in what advantages do millennial managers bring it to business performance 

Matt:

so I’m in a laugh or amoan of the Millennial piece I when Isaw this webinar come out I was like oh geez I’m a lonely me off you know and I had a little bit of a moment for myself because that’s you know sometimes you know we may not think of that in the best light I had a conversation with some of my finance folks and I said geezI’m so happy that Gen Z you know our next generations coming to work for us we can start talk to them about stuff but look I I don’t know if I don’t think being a millennial brings a different you know different value I think it still kind of comes back to that I’ve Seen you know maybe I grew up with a little bit different technology than others have I might embrace some things a little bit faster than others you knowsome of the social network sites I’m a little know maybe I’ll stay up to date on a little bit more so I think I can bring a different perspective that way but I also you know this way that I bring a different perspective that way you see you know we’ve got four or five generations in the workplace right now so I think every generation is bringing in a unique perspective so it’s just a no you know it’s just a diversity of thought thing and in having more people at the table who have different ways about thinking and a lot of value to the business

Bennett:

right that was the last question that was that came from our audience participants so again Iwant to thank Matt for a great conversation and insights into your career path Matt into HRM your successes and points of view around technology and such so I Thought and kind of just wrapped the webinar up with just a couple last-minute housekeeping additional housekeeping items one a first and foremost for those that have attended AllyO has been a proud sponsor of future workplaces AI for HR certification program and certainly wants to extend an opportunity for those that are interested in learning figuring out how AllyO is going to work within your HR function this is an amazing deep dive course that covers almost 12 different use cases for HR leaders like in addition to running practical exercises and really being able to network yourself with other folks that aren’t participating in the curriculum all you need to do is email Bennett@allyo,com  and certainly am we will send out the promo code for you to get a free registration the next course is starting on October 21stand then as Jean had mentioned it’s a big event period so for those that are out there going to the event Circuit Feel free to stop by and be able to stop by and say hi to AllyO will be up the upcoming HR technology conference October 1st through 4th in Las Vegas in addition to being at a number of other conferences in DC we’re actually going to make a pit stop in Paris and then also wrap things up this year with a college recruiting bootcamp panel in NYCso again thank you so much Matt andJeanne I appreciate everyone who’s joined intoday we will be transcribing and loading up this video for you to listen to you previously in a dish she’s listening to other HR leadership webinars that we published and had over the past three months so thank you all so much have a great rest of your Wednesday.

Transcript — English (auto-generated)

 

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